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TCM and Criterion’s FilmStruck Streaming Service Launches October 19

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About six months after its initial announcement, FilmStruck, the new streaming service collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection, launches this month. Starting on October 19, you’ll be able to watch what the company calls “the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films as well as extensive bonus content, filmmaker interviews and rare footage.” Later this year, FilmStruck will also become the exclusive streaming home for Criterion’s library, although you’ll need to pay extra for the so-called “Criterion Channel.”

Here’s the pricing breakdown: a regular FilmStruck subscription will cost $6.99 a month, with “hundreds of constantly refreshed” titles. $10.99 a month gets you the Criterion level subscription, where you gain access to “Criterion’s entire streaming library of films and special features.” Or, if you pay $99, you get a full year of FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel, which is the best bang for your cinephile buck.

Programming will be themed into various categories like “Early Kubrick,” “Panic Room” (indie horror), and Neo Noir. FilmStruck will also include newly shot introductions for their films (similar, I assume, to the ones before the movies on TCM) from hosts like Bill Hader. The press release also touts newly produced originals plus supplemental materials like audio commentaries, a beloved feature of physical media that big services like Netflix and Hulu don’t offer except in a few rare circumstances. At launch, the “hundreds” of titles will include great movies like Blood Simple, Blow-Up, A Hard Day’s Night, Mad Max, Seven Samurai, The Seventh Seal, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

There are a lot of streaming services on the market these days. But with Netflix and most of its competition focused increasingly on television and original content they can own and control in perpetuity (and recent stories that Netflix’s library has shrunk by as much as half in recent years), there’s definitely a void waiting to be filled by a deep classic movie site. And with TCM and Criterion combining their powers like some kind of celluloid Voltron, FilmStruck could definitely be that site.

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